About five years ago, while we still lived in Chicago, I used to walk Bookworm to school every morning.  In the fall and spring, these walks were enjoyable.  In the winter, they were torture.  While I loved my son’s company, I had an annoying side effect of walking in the cold weather–my left big toe went completely numb.  When I came home every morning, I had to hold my big toe in my hand to gradually warm it.  This warming process could take 15 minutes or more.

My toe went numb every time I went out into the cold, even if it was while I was in the car and the car hadn’t warmed up enough.

I went to my then doctor, and she dismissed my concerns.  She said I was just aging and my circulation was poor.

Other Symptoms

Then, almost three years ago, we moved to Arizona, and, thanks to the mostly warm temperatures, a numb toe wasn’t much of an issue.

But there were other sensations–my big toe started tingling like it was asleep, and sometimes my baby toe did, too.  And for the last two years, when the temperatures in Arizona dipped into the forties and fifties, my toe went numb.

I asked my doctor in Arizona about this, and she recommend a podiatrist.

Discovering the Problem

I went to see the podiatrist recently, and the news wasn’t good.  I have to have foot surgery to address three problems–Hallux Limitus, a bone spur, and Tailor’s bunion.

My Hallux Limitus is caused by a genetic deformity which makes my metatarsophalangeal joint (the joint that connects the big toe to the foot) stick up to high.  Instead of the next joint on the big toe smoothly moving over the metatarsophalangeal joint when I walk or flex it, the joints hit.  This has led to bone spurs and the hallux limitus, meaning my big toe is limited in movement.

The doctor will take off the bone spur and then conduct an Austin bunionectomy.  This procedure will lower the metatarsophalangeal joint so it will function as it should.  My big toe will have two screws put in it.

On my baby toe, he’ll remove the Tailor’s bunion and also adjust a genetic deformity I have on my baby toe.  (Currently it flares out to the right.  The procedure will make it line up where it’s supposed to.)  I’ll also have two screws put in my baby toe.

A Long Healing Process

The healing time is 6 to 12 weeks, but it can take up to a year to feel normal again and to have all the swelling gone.  My doctor said that I should plan on getting 10% of my pre-surgery ability back every week.  So, two weeks post-op, I should be able to do 20% of the things I was able to do previously.

Luckily, my mom is coming to stay with us for the first 4.5 weeks.  I’m planning on packing the freezer with meals for at least a month so that I won’t have to worry too much about cooking as I recover.  That will also take some of the burden off my husband because he really hates grocery shopping.  The less he has to do that, the better.

While I’m not looking forward to the surgery and the recovery, I am looking forward to walking more comfortably, not having a toe that goes numb, and having an easier time finding shoes that fit.

This post is part of Blogging through the Alphabet, Letter H, hosted by A Net in Time and Hopkins Homeschool.  To read more posts focusing on a topic starting with the letter “H” click on the button below:

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